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District 11 Tournament Web Broadcasting

When the year started we had a goal of having the infrastructure and methodology in place to successfully web stream the district 11 boys basketball tournament.  We picked that date because it was going to be the event that provided us the largest and most diverse viewer base.  I had no interest in publicizing a service that we could not adequately provide.  Now that we have completed the tournament, I’m calling it a success.  There was some working with the audio on the first day, then in the next two days there were times of “dead air”.  This is because we were piping in audio directly off the radio stations equipment.  It took a little monkeying around to get it going the first day.  The next 2 days we decided to just use the feed from the announcer and not worry about getting anything back from the radio station during breaks (commercials and music).

When you look at the service we are providing, it is important to keep things in perspective.  We are not going to have the resources (time, personnel and money) to be able to complete with your high def T.V.  That’s not the goal.  It is our goal first and foremost to get our student body heavily involved in the process.  From setting up the equipment to production to advertising the event we want this to be a student run venture.  During the tournament we went from Mr. Simpson or myself configuring each broadcast and running the camera for a couple of games on day 1 to students configuring things, switching between events…etc.  It might not seem like much to the external observer, but it’s a large step in a short time with very little training.

The next step for us is going to be acquiring more and better equipment and software to enhance our productions.  I want to be able to switch between a couple of cameras during an event and enhance our audio.  It would be nice to splice in clips and/or highlights during an event…etc.  It’s important to remember that when we are talking about “events” we are not just referring to sports.  We want to be able to broadcast concerts, plays, graduation and other things the public might be interested in seeing.

Something that has me really optimistic about the future of this endeavour is that the students most involved in the broadcasting for districts were younger.  We had a couple of freshmen and a couple 8th grade students running things.  Hopefully they stay interested in the coming years and we can build on what they are learning.  Keeping the turn over low is going to be a big part of being able to move things forward.

Thanks goes out to Hunter Trapp, Hunter Wall, Dylan Block, Kyle Saville, Christine Wall and Riley Gallagher for running things.  We also want to thank Les and Sunny 101.9 for letting us pipe in their broadcast.